Blog Tour of Stages &Thieves by Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba -- REVIEW

When I was asked to review Stages & Thieves honestly I was a bit apprehensive. I found the series very interesting as a whole, but individually, I found the first couple of books lacking. But I was curious with how the 4th book ended, and I wanted to know what happened to Vincent. So I decided, what the heck. Good thing I listened to the inquisitive voice in my head.

Title: Stages & Thieves (Sémya Slotin Mystery #5)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Publication Date: February 17, 2015
Genres: Mystery, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Source: Copy Given by Author and Tour Organizer

One fateful July morning forever changed the lives of Sémya Slotin and her best friend Polliannah Guryev.

Vincent Edgerton, the only man Sémya has ever loved, was taken from her by an explosion and a fire that she couldn’t understand, trust, nor explain. It left her alone, hurt, angry and desperately seeking answers. On top of everything, she is also incredibly hormonal; Sémya Slotin is going to be a mother.
Polliannah just healed from losing her husband but seeing her best friend grieving is not only breaking her heart, it has been a strain on their once close-knit relationship. She is afraid that Sémya will completely disappear into her grief. Thankfully, Polliannah can always seek refuge with the handsome Chief Superintendent James Connelly. In the past three months, he has become her safe haven. But when they finally give in to each other and Jim reveals his true feeling for her, Polliannah pulls away. Is she ready to put herself out there again?

Then all of the sudden, Sémya, the pregnant Detective Extraordinaire is chasing art thieves across the globe, making dangerous deals and finally meeting her father… It’s all about ex-lovers and new ones, a priceless painting, con artists, baby bumps, an impromptu trip to Moscow, designer dresses, teacakes, a birthday ball and reconnecting with your roots.

With everything that has happened this year, Sémya and Polliannah are more vulnerable and exposed than they have ever been. Will Jim’s love and trust be enough to ease Polliannah’s doubts? Will Sémya find out what happened to Vincent?

Welcome to the Stages & Thieves saga, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.

Semya Louise Slotin or New Semya, as she so likes to call herself, is still a perceptive and stubborn sleuth. But now she's more careful, knows when to take a step back, and she's no longer afraid of showing emotions and being attached to people. By the way, she blames her hormones for this.

Polliannah Kock Guryev is no longer her confident old self. She now doubts almost evetything about her life; whether or not she fits in with her family, if she really know what true love is, and if she was wrong in doubting her best friend about Vincent's "supposed" death.

James Connelly or Chief Superintendent James Connelly is a charming, intelligent, and loving man. He's in love with Polli and will do everything he can to help Semya solve the mystery which is his best friend's death.  

I really have to say this, I find it absolutely great how there are minimal errors now in terms of grammar and spelling. This is quite a big deal for me, because I remember struggling with the preceding installments in the series due to said mistakes. A pat on the back for that. 

Next up, I adore the "new" characters. By "new", I meant old characters that had total personality makeovers. Don't get me wrong, I liked Semya before, but I love her now. She still has her reckless streak, but she now feels bad about it because she can't just think about herself  -- Poopie is first priority. Her improvement in the looks depatment doesn't hurt either. Now I can easily believe it when people tells her she's gorgeous. Her new found softness in the emotions department is quite fetching. She's more open with what she's feeling, she lets people in easier nowadays, and she cries! *gasp* Ms. Slotin sheds tears in this book, and she doesn't even hide it. Polli's transformation though, I'm still 50-50 about it. On the positive side, she now seems less of a spoiled brat, which is ironic since they actually have money now. She also matured a lot, which is probably brought on by the events that happened to them in the last few months. Looking at the negative effects of her so-called change, Polli became grumpier especially when they arrived in Russia. She's like the Grinch. I also hate her immaturity towards her relationship with Jim. He's such a great man and he loves her, but what does she do? She runs. This happened not once, not twice, but three times! I was like, "Dude! A perfect male specimen is head-over-heels in love with you! Get a freaking grip!!" Speaking of men, the guys in the book are all so intriguing and charming it's almost ridiculous. Just saying.

The story: Once again her case starts off quite simple; she identifies an art thief, present him to the FBI, then she goes back to doing squats and stretches. But nothing is ever simple in Semya Slotin's life, so we should've already expected that it wouldn't end there. The CIA gets involved, she gets to meet her biological father, she learns how valuable she truly is, and she almost gets killed. All of which happened in Russia, and all of it done for no other than Vincent Mallory Edgerton. *glare* (You better be alive Mr. Man. People are risking their lives for you.)

There were a few times in the book that I found myself dumbfounded by the pace of the events. Like I was missing out on something. It's pretty hard to explain, but once you've read the book, you'd know what I'm talking about.  

So far, this is my favorite in the entire saga. The story flow was great, the characters have grown, and the plot just gets better and better. I give this 5 stars, and I can't wait to read the next coming books. Yo Edgerton! Come back already! Your kid is about to be born!!


Title: Bird of Prey (Sémya Slotin Mystery #1)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Romance, Thriller
Publication Date: May 10, 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author
This was supposed to be an easy case…
Sémya Slotin had spent the last three years living in London with her best friend Polliannah Koch staying away from solving cases. After Hawaii, she was taking a break from puzzles, cases and mysteries that could potentially get her killed. Instead, she had been doing her second and third favorite things, drinking and selling expensive vintage wines and having earth-shattering sex with the mysterious, sexy, beautiful but ever so secretive Josh Heinz. Life in London was good….until her funds ran out. Too much wine drinking, not enough wine selling!
When fashion designer and adoptive mother, Annika Slotin, summoned her back to Paris to hire her for what Sémya considered being the easiest case of her amateur sleuth career, all she could think of and see was money signs and a well-deserved Cuban holiday once it was solved.
What Sémya didn’t see was her stumbling on the fresh corpse of supermodel Johanna Cartier. She didn’t think that male model turned fashion designer Julian Marais-Caldwin, who also happened to be Sémya’s ex, would be suspected of brutally murdering her. Johanna was his girlfriend, his muse and he loved her. Sémya didn’t see the dead bodies piling up or the conspiracy theories.

Sémya was a little rusty. But then again, it was supposed to be an easy case and she was going to solve it. One vintage wine at a time… Sémya Slotin was off.
Title: The Plot Thickens (Sémya Slotin Mystery #2)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Suspense,Thriller, Romance
Publication Date: May 10, 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

What happened while Semya Slotin and Josh Heinz were busy solving Johanna Cartier's murder in Bird Of Prey?
Polliannah's story... When Polliannah Koch Guryev meets John Allen, she thinks that she's finally found her Prince Charming a tall, blond and handsome banker. What could go wrong?
John Allen has a job to do and getting closer to the beautiful Miss Koch Guryev is supposed to be a means to an end. But then they fall in love. He's a hit man on a mission, she's the sister of his targets.
What possible future could they have? Now he and his Russian Princess have to leave London for their safety.But it may already be too late for them...
Title: Polliannah Got Married! (Sémya Slotin Mystery #3)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author
Polliannah Koch Guryev is in trouble and her boyfriend is dead.
It's not the first time amateur sleuth Sémya Slotin finds herself on the first plane to rescue her best friend, but nothing's prepared her for what she finds in Toronto. Polliannah is a widow and her late husband John Allen was a hit man for the powerful Dovos family. What did they want from her? Why is this happening? One thing they do know: their carefree life back in London is officially over.
Sémya’s long-time boyfriend Josh Heinz knows more than he lets on, but as usual he’s not telling her anything. In fact, everyone knows more, but nobody’s talking. But that never stops Sémya Slotin, Detective Extraordinaire, from finding out the truth beneath the lies…
But at what cost? Old conspiracies and secrets resurface that put them all in peril. Sémya’s worst fears about her relationship with Josh and his past are confirmed, and the rift between them may never heal.
Sémya and Polliannah’s world is falling apart. Will they be able to come out of this stronger?
Oh, and did I mention that Pollianah got married?
Title: Vincent Mallory Edgerton (Sémya Slotin Mystery #4)
Author: Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Romance
Publication Date: July 2014
Source: Copy Given by Author

The pursuit of peace is not always pacific.
Vincent Mallory Edgerton had always been an efficient FREGG operative. It was his family legacy and his pride. He had always loved his job, even when he had to leave everything behind for his safety and become Josh Heinz.
Every love story has a beginning.
Sémya Slotin had been coasting through life solving one mystery after another. While in Hawaii, her young protégée disappeared. When Sémya met Josh Heinz, her mind kept telling her to stay away from the handsome stranger with the hypnotic light brown eyes but she found herself inexplicably drawn to him. He awakened something in her and she was unable to resist him. It never happened to her before. Who was that man?
In Hawaii, Vincent had to work covertly with the sexy bold sleuth. Sémya’s beauty and intellect completely enthralled him, but his passion and growing love for her also changed him. There was nothing he wouldn’t do to finally win her trust and keep her safe, causing him to unleash events that would shape the rest of their lives. From the moment their gazes locked, Sémya and Vincent sealed their fate.

I’m over 30.
I was born in Quebec City, Canada.
I grew up in France and in Gabon.
I speak English & French fluently.
Pizza is my favorite dish.
Black Forest Cake is my favorite dessert.
I met Michael Jackson when I was eleven.
I loathe vodka but love gin, wine and tequila.
I'm obsessed with Robbie Williams and Michael Fassbender.
I call Toronto my home.
I love reading.
I love dancing.
I love watching exciting TV shows.
I love my life... most days.
I'm a major goof.
I can't stand intolerance.
I'm curious, cheeky, and oh so opinionated!


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